Interning in London: An Experience I'll Carry for the Rest of my Life Past Review

By (Broadcast Journalism., Illinois State University) for

AIFS: London - Richmond International Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely. My experience abroad has confirmed all of my prior thoughts to go into the business I interned with. Although disappointed with the intership coordinating staff after being discouraged for "setting my sights too high," I interned with the company I had orignally hoped to and am hopefully coming back to London next summer to help NBC with the summer olympics.

Review Photos

AIFS: London - Richmond International Internship Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was extremely reasonable. The grading system was fair. Teaching methods were intriguing, Justin Lorenzen in particular made the four hour days go by very fast. He was an extremely educated, interesting person.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had bed bugs, and while extremely frustrated, the AIFS emergency team was very helpful and quickly moved us out of our old room.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I roomed with a friend from Illinois State University. We only needed to buy toiletries to settle in. The neighborhood was extremely safe and I was very pleased with my surroundings. The disappointment came with the sanitation of the rooms. There were mice and bedbugs on multiple floors. The rooms were small with not enough storage space for a 3 month stay. There was no kitchen, refridgerator, or food storage facilities which was extremely inconvenient. We also didn't have access to cleaning supplies, and although there was a cleaning team, they came into our room to vaccuum once during our entire 3 month stay.

* Food:

We were given an "allowance" of £60 a week for food. Which was not nearly enough. It was only meant to cover M-F. There was no food facility in my building.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

London is an absolutely undescribable place. Everything from Big Ben to Parliament to The Eye to the rich history attatched to every street and palace. It was aboslutely amazing. I did not attend many trips through my program. I didn't feel it was necessary since I was so self motivated to see everything on my own.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The "AIFS Emergency" number, I was told by many students, was completely ignored. Most calls would go either straight to voicemail or never returned. This was quite a scary feeling, knowing that there's no one to reach in case of an emergency.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? An obscene amount of money. DO NOT COME UNLESS YOU'RE WILLING TO DROP SOME MONEY! Best advice I can give. I spent around £100 a week on food....which equates to almost $200 We traveled to Barcelona, Venice, and Paris...and spent around £1000 (=$2000)on just that. Spent about £20 a week on public transportation (tube) getting to and from work. And probably about £200 total on living expenses (toiletries, snacks, water bottles)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't come if you're not willing to spend well over budged. London is an extremely expensive place.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A self motivated student who doesn't rely on anyone else to get things done for him/her. A student with confidence looking to expand their horizons and start the first day of the rest of their lives.